Bostitch 3-1/2" Gas Wire-Weld Cordless Framing Nailer

An easy to use and well balanced nailer with ample power to drive nails up to 3 1/2"

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Bostitch 3-1/2" Gas Wire-Weld Cordless Framing Nailer



Compressors and hoses, or fuel cells and batteries. While there are, of course, other difference, these are the two major factors that set pneumatic and cordless framing nailers apart. Not having to haul a compressor (and often a generator if there is no power on site) back and forth to a worksite or from room to room on a job, and drag a hose up and down ladders and scaffolding, makes life a lot easier.
 
The GF28WW is one hunk of a tool, measuring 13" long and just over 15" high, which means it will just fit in a standard 16" joist bay. With battery and fuel cell loaded, it tops the scales at 8.3 pounds. That's a fair amount of weight to be carrying around for any length of time, particularly when working overhead. However, it's par for a framing nailer (whether gas or air).


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Steel spikes grip stock well
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Easy to manipulate follower
The GF28WW is made primarily of a high impact ABS plastic, with the contact arm and firing head made of steel. The magazine has an anodized plate against which the nails slide. On the bottom of the magazine is a stainless steel guard that protects the base of the tool. This is a nice touch on the GF28WW, as most of the contact with studs and joists is likely to occur right at the base of the magazine. The handle is covered by a rubber grip, and the opening below the handle is large enough that you can easily grip the handle with gloves on. Likewise, the follower (pusher knob) is large and easily manipulated with gloves on. At the back of the magazine is a rafter hook, which you can rotate about 270°.
 
In use, I found the nailer well balanced - an important consideration if you're using a heavy tool like this for any length of time. At the business end of the nailer are two aggressive spikes (toenails) that grip the stock well. However, the GF28WW doesn't come with a no-mar tip, which is a bit short-sighted, as it's not only good for framing, but can be used for a wide variety of nailing tasks, such as building a deck or installing siding.


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Stainless steel guard protects the magazine
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Adjustable rafter hook
The GF28WW holds 66 28° wire-weld nails. You insert two strips of nails at the back of the magazine, and then pull the follower back to engage the nails. A low nail (dry fire) lock-out feature prevents you from firing the nailer when there are only a few nails left in the magazine. It also reduces wear on the nailer.
 
In place of compressed air, this cordless nailer uses a combination of gas and spark to drive the nails. As you press the contact arm onto the work, the gun sends fuel into a combustion chamber where a fan mixes the fuel with air. When you pull the trigger, current from the battery fires a spark plug, igniting the atomized fuel, which forces a piston to drive the contact arm down and sends the nail into the work piece. You need to get used to the proper two-step sequence for firing the GF28WW. First, you press the nailer onto the stock (you need to completely compress the contact tip), and then secondly, you press the trigger. If you inadvertently release pressure on the tip before pressing the trigger, you need to repeat the two step again.


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Fuel cell with metering valve
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NiCad batter with 1 hour charger
Bostitch makes its own fuel cell (9B12061R), which cost about $10 each, though you can use fuels cells from other manufacturers. You can expect to sink about 1,200 nails per cell. Installing the fuel cell is very quick. There is a metering valve that comes with the fuel cell that you snap onto the top of the cell; once you've done it a couple of times it becomes second nature. The 7.2V battery is good for four or five thousand shots per charge - a full day's work. As you only get one battery with the GF28WW you need to remember to put it in the charger every night.

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Metering valve attached to fuel cell
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Fuel cell inserted into nailer
If a nail jams in the firing head you need to revert to a hex wrench to remove bolts on the nose to rectify the situation - there is no tool-less jam clearing feature. This seems to be pretty common on most of the framing nailers I've seen. Same thing if you need to make an adjustment to the nail drive depth - get out the hex wrench. Though once set, it's doubtful you'll need to change the depth setting unless you're nailing into extremely dense material.
 

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I used the GF28WW to build a new 400 square foot work shop, using it on all the framing, as well as to apply the sheathing and subfloor. On the framing I used 3-1/2" nails, and set the nail depth drive to its maximum; I didn't have any problems sinking nails all the way. For the sheathing and subfloor I used 2-1/2" nails.
 
The GF28WW worked extremely well, and I was surprised at how little recoil there was. There was also no discernable exhaust air shooting out of the gun. I found that I could work quicker without having to constantly move a hose about. Besides, I only have a 4 gallon compressor, and it would have been constantly cycling to keep up with a framing nailer. There isn't a bump mode on a cordless nailer; for a production framer this might be an issue, but I didn't miss it. You might think that a cordless nailer is maintenance-free. Not so. They regular regular maintenance, somewhat more than air nailers, and Bostitch includes a detailed set of instructions for you to follow.
 
The GF28WW is an easy to use and well balanced nailer with ample power to drive 3 1/2" nails, and more convenient than a compressor and hose system.

KEY FEATURES:


  • 4-1/4" W x 13" L x 15-1/4" H
  • 7.2V 1.4 AH Ni-Cad battery
  • 1 hour charger
  • Fuel cell (sinks about 1,200 nails)
  • 28° wire-weld fasteners, 2" to 3-1/2"
  • Over-molded rubber grip
  • 66 nail magazine capacity
  • Sequential fire mode
  • Low nail lock-out
  • Fastener depth control
  • On-board Allen key storage
  • Adjustable rafter hook
  • 8.3 pounds weight (with battery)
  • 2 year warranty
  • Includes: hard shell carry case, battery charger, battery, hex wrench, safety glasses, cleaning guide, instructions

COMPANY:Stanley Bostitch
MODEL:GF28WW
PRICE:$399.00
MADE IN:Mexico
SOURCE:Retail Locator

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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